Swimrun is a multi-disciplinary sport, born in the early 2000s, in which swimming and running switch back and forth, adapting to the area in which the sport is performed.
This sport, in particular, is practised outdoors and in free water, switching seamlessly from running to swimming without changing equipment. It is therefore possible to take part in swimrun competitions individually but also in pairs, and this is the experience of Renato dell’Oro and Paolo Carminati, who tell us firsthand about this sport that is still barely known in Italy.
Which role does sport play in your life?
Sport is balance, sometimes an escape from reality, sometimes an outflow, sometimes a special moment to feel good about ourselves, it instils discipline and self-denial, essential qualities to succeed in any context, it also helps concentration and reduces stress.
It is a special moment, a magical moment in everyday life.
How did you approach swimrun?
Renato tells that he got to know swimrun in 2016, the day before a triathlon at Lake Idro, the spartacus event also promotes a swimrun race:
What is it? I ask myself and, to give myself an answer, i signed up, knowing only that i had to run, swim, run, swim and…i fell in love!
To Paolo, however, the sport entered his heart a few years later, in 2018 as he participated in a first swimrun test in Monate and the absence of patterns and pure freedom bewitched him.
Which is the difference between racing in pairs or alone?
Alone you have no responsibility and no support during difficult moments, alone it is just a race, in pairs it is a journey to be experienced together, especially when you find the right partner. Alone you are focused on yourself, in a couple you are listening to the other person, you are looking for the highest point of performance and above all you have to find the balance with the other one.
Best to have similar or different characteristics?
Diversity is an additional value, as long as it is contained within certain performance parameters. Nevertheless, it is hard to form a duo with different characteristics, but finding the right match makes it easier to take benefits from individual differences and share great satisfaction.
Running and swimming are activities that require the use of different equipment. Which ones are necessary and/or compulsory and how to choose them to have the greatest benefit between use and non-use during a competition?
The equipment must be chosen carefully and must suit the individual using it best. Shoes, for example, must be lightweight since it is necessary to keep them in the water and suitable for the running part of the trail. As for the swimming equipment, on the other hand, the pull, which aids buoyancy, the paddles, which help propulsion, and finally the swimming goggles to protect the eyes, but above all to better visualise the route, are essential.
Each athlete must experiment and find the equipment that best suits his or her needs.
What fundamental features do you look for in shoes to perform in both running and swimming sessions?
Renato tells us that the essential ingredient is the sole. As he does a lot of long races with trail courses he is looking for a safe and comfortable shoe, so the sole must guarantee the right grip and be adequately cushioned so as not to strain his legs too much.
Paolo explains, on the other hand, how essential it is for shoes to have soles that ensure grip, especially on unstable and slippery terrain such as rocks, and that drain water effectively, as well as obviously being comfortable given extended use over time.
You may also be interested in the following articles:
The importance of choosing the right shoes for optimal sports performance and comfort.
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The story of Mo Farah, British gold medal-winning athlete
It is always awesome to get to know sport through those who practice it and love it dearly, to discover the deeper motivations and aspects of such an enthralling sporting activity, especially when practised in pairs.
Curious to find out which shoes the two athletes chose for their swimrun competitions? We’ll talk about it very soon!